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Where Wilbur Ross sees more opportunity


Despite a trebling of his investment in the Bank of Ireland, billionaire investor Wilbur Ross said there is continued opportunity in Europe's financial sector.

"We continue to think the financial services sector in Europe has a lot of distress remaining," he said, noting that there were not as many troubled institutions in the northern and western countries.

In an interview with CNBC, Ross said that he would be focusing on Mediterranean countries Greece, Italy and Spain.

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Ross was among a group of North American investors that bought a 35 percent stake in the once-troubled Bank of Ireland when its share price was around 10 cents, according to Reuters.

The stock hit a high of 0.39 euros earlier this year.

"It was a great investment for us," he told CNBC. "We sold it at the lowest level we could ever do."

On CNBC's "Halftime Report," Ross also sounded bullish on global economic growth despite an expected slowdown in China.

(Read more: 'Good long-term growth' globally: Wilbur Ross)

Other areas of opportunity Ross identified were maritime transport and shipping, as well as heavy building materials as a play of shale gas.

"We continue to invest in the shale gas phenomenon in the U.S.," he said.

The political situation between Russia and Ukraine was not affecting Ross's investment decisions, he said, adding that the biggest event outside the U.S. mainland this week was Puerto Rico selling $3.5B worth of municipal bonds.

(Watch video: 'What's up with this world?': Ukraine PM)

"This effectively moves one of the biggest problems from the municipal bond market for the next couple of years," he said. "It adds considerable liquidity to the market. To me, this is a very, very big event. And, it traded at a premium."

Peter Weber | Getty Images

Ross noted that "a lot of hedge funds bought into this, and that's unusual for the muni bond market."

(Read more: Despite blockbuster bond sale, Puerto Rico debt-holders still in crosshairs)

Coal was also on Ross's radar.

"Interestingly, a lot of coal that would have gone to American utilities is now being exported to Europe," he said. "It's cheaper since gasoline prices are three times as high in Europe as they are in the U.S. It's actually cheaper for the European utilities to import U.S. coal than from Russia.

"What is funny about it is that the U.S. environmentalists are the ones that encouraged the EPA to put in restrictions and instead the coal being burned here, it's being burned in Europe."

— CNBC's Stephanie Landsman contributed reporting to this article. Follow her on Twitter: @StephLandsman. Written by CNBC's Bruno J. Navarro. Follow him on Twitter: @Bruno_J_Navarro.